Prevalence and Risk Factors for Stroke in Central Region of Saudi Arabia
Author(s): Abdulrahman Obaid Alharbi*
OBJECTIVE: Stroke is a medical emergency due to a sudden alteration in how blood is supplied to the brain, usually caused by a blocked artery or a burst blood vessel. There are several risk factors for stroke that can include medical conditions, lifestyle choices, genetic factors, and a person’s family history. This study was carried out with an objective to determine the frequency of various risk factors for stroke among males and females in a tertiary care hospital in Zulfi, Saudi Arabia. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This observational cross-sectional was carried out at the Medical Department of Zulfi General Hospital, Zulfi, Majmaah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1st January 2018 to 30th December 2019. Patients with features of stroke based on history, clinical examination, and confirmed by neuroimaging confirmed (CT scan/MRI of the brain) were enrolled in this study. The exclusion criteria were patients with brain scans showing anomalies such as brain tumor, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, and metabolic alterations that may explain focal neurological impairment. In the selected sample population, the prevalence of different risk factors for stroke among males and females and the forms of stroke were evaluated. RESULTS: The mean age of the selected sample population (n=53) was 68.56 with SD=5.21 years, out of which the mean age of male was found to be 65.55+7.46 years and that of female was 73.21+4.25 years. Out of total 53 patients, 51(96.3%) were thromboembolic and 2 (3.7%) cases were cardioembolic. Hypertension 15(28.3%) was the most important risk factor, while the presence of diabetes mellitus 5(9.5%) was occasional. The data presented with 31(58.5%) pooled hypertension and diabetes as significant risk factors among the stroke patients. Hypertension 12(37.5%) and diabetes 4(12.5%) were found to be more common among males. However, the frequency of the combined risk factor of hypertension and diabetes was comparable both in males 16 (50%) and females 15 (71.4%). CONCLUSION: In this study, the prevalence of different risk factors was high, which is close to that found in developed nations. The main risk factors for males were hypertension and diabetes, while diabetes mellitus was more common in females.